Need to buy a “cure” for COVID-19? Willing to pay a hacker $185 to destroy your competitor’s business? Want to spend $1,000 in bitcoin and get $10,000 wired to a bank account of your choice? These are just a few of the illicit goods and services currently for sale on the dark web.

Armor’s security research team, the Threat Resistance Unit (TRU) has spent the past three years, diving into the underground hacker markets and forums, studying the products and services that cybercriminals are buying and selling. For Armor’s 2020 Dark Market report: The New Economy, the TRU team investigated from October 2019 to June 30, 2020, 15 markets and a variety of underground hacker forums, news sites, and open repositories to understand the state of this underground economy.

Throughout the digital storefronts of these dark markets, they found that many of the items and services being peddled in 2018 and 2019 continue to be staples in these criminal markets such as cloned credit cards and ATM cards, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) credentials, and full identity packets. However, there are several new items this year that are quite notable. In addition to the purported “cure” for COVID-19 and the offer to “destroy your competitor’s business,” these new offerings range from a turn-key, e-commerce service that provides fraudsters with everything they need to set up their own dark market shop to SMS bombing services to what is being advertised as the dark web’s very own “Hacker University.”

Read the Dark Market report and get a view into this mysterious underground economy and learn how organizations and consumers can help protect their personal, business, and financial data which is fueling this shadow economy. It is an economy that the TRU team firmly believes will continue to thrive because cybercriminals are motivated by economic uncertainty, emboldened by the success of recent cyberattacks and obscured by the chaos of a global pandemic.

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